In the wild, zebras and ostriches have a special bond, and they often hang out together. The reason? Zebras have a great sense of smell and keen hearing, but they don't see very well. Ostriches, on the other hand, have terrific vision -- but their senses of smell and hearing are definitely lacking. These unlikely animal companions are most likely to steer clear of danger when they work together, using their symbiotic relationship to warn each other about approaching predators.
A friend in need is a friend indeed:
- Different species often benefit each other in nature. Cattle egrets, for example, often find food stirred up by grazing cows. In turn, the egrets will perch on a cow's back and eat the biting bugs that pester their bovine companions.
- The remora fish often attaches itself to the belly of a shark, eating parasites (and any of the shark's leftovers). The symbiotic benefit is that the remora gets to eat, while the shark remains healthy.
- Egyptian plovers and crocodiles can be best buddies. When invited by an open-mouthed croc, these little birds dine on food stuck between the ferocious reptile's teeth -- improving its dental health.